Hospice expansion support needed

Staff report

As a Portsmouth native and physician locally for the last 37 years, Suzann M. Bonzo, M.D. has been fortunate to be involved in many wonderful events and projects in our town. One such project that Bonzo is passionate about is the ‘Transcending Lives Capital Campaign’ to expand and renovate Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Inpatient Hospice Center.

When the Hospice Center opened in 2007, Bonzo was appointed its Medical Director. Its purpose was, and continues to be, to meet various needs that could not be provided in the home. Since opening it has provided care for more than 5000 patients and families.

According to Bonzo, “At the inpatient center, we have a caring and compassionate staff of nurse practitioners, nurses, aides, social workers, pastoral counseling as well as dedicated housekeeping, food service, and maintenance workers.”

Although to qualify for hospice care, a patient must have a limited life expectancy, the staff does not dwell on death but focuses on the importance of each patient’s life.

Most of the patients are from the local area, the hospice center serves five counties: Scioto, Pike, Jackson, Lawrence, and Adams. SOMC Inpatient Hospice Center is the only unit of this kind in southern Ohio.

“In the beginning a 12-bed unit was adequate, but the need for the hospice program has grown to the point that we need more beds and space for families and for staff,” Bonzo stated.

As a result, in the summer of 2016, Hospice embarked on a mission to raise $3,000,000 over 3 years to expand the Center to a total of 16 beds. The project also includes a new area for family gathering, meditation, showers, laundry, an expanded kitchen, new work area for staff, much needed storage, and a safe playground for children. The existing areas will be refurbished as well.

Bonzo continued, “The Inpatient Hospice Center is at capacity almost every day. As the first year of the campaign comes to a close, the fund is $400,000 away from the amount we need to break ground and begin construction. I am grateful for the $1,000,000 that has already been received. I am proud the donations have come from our SOMC family -our guilds, our generous employees, fundraising events, and interest from the SOMC Endowment Fund.”

Bonzo reached out to the community to help in meeting the goal originally set in 2016.

“I ask that you join me in making a gift to this worthwhile project,” Bonzo said. “The impact SOMC Hospice has on those who depend on its services is immeasurable. Patients and their families deserve the best we can offer at one of the most difficult moments in their lives.”

It is important to note that all money raised – 100% – goes directly to the campaign for the expansion. There are no administrative fees or hidden costs taken from the funds. Donations are tax deductible.

Please visit the website www.somc.org/givetohospice to view a virtual video of the proposed completed project or to make an online donation. If you would like to mail in a contribution you can make your check payable to SOMC Transcending Lives Campaign and mail it to 2201 25th St. Portsmouth, OH. There are naming rights available for larger donations, and if you make a gift of $1,000 or more, your name will be included on the donor wall.

Please contact Mary Arnzen, 740-356-2504, arnzenm@somc.org, for information on available naming rights, a planned gift, or a pledged gift.


Staff report